The A-list actress, who traced her family roots to a kabbalistic rabbi, honors the memory of Jews in Poland.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow is funding a historical sign in a Polish Jewish cemetery due to be unveiled on Tuesday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Thursday.
The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland said in a statement that the sign at the Nowogrod Jewish cemetery in northeast Poland “recounts the history of the Jewish community dating back to the 15th century as well as the creation of the cemetery in the late 18th century, and the destruction of the local Jewish community and its cemetery” during and after the Holocaust.
Paltrow, 49, is the daughter of Jewish producer Bruce Paltrow, who died in 2002. Her mother is the actress Blythe Danner.
“My dad was the love of my life until he died,” Paltrow said on the American genealogy documentary series “Who Do You Think You Are?”
“My father really instilled in me the importance of unconditional love and support, and to treat your family with love and respect because they’re your family, and you know, those are the ties that bind.”
Paltrow learned details about her family’s Jewish past in 2011 on “Who Do You Think You Are,” which features celebrities tracing their genealogy.
She discovered that her great-great-grandfather Simon Paltrovich had immigrated to the U.S., and that his father, Hirsch, had been a rabbi and expert in Kabbalah in Nowogrod. The rabbi was murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
According to the Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland website, the Nowogrod Jewish cemetery is overgrown with shrubs and decomposed vegetation.
Paltrow, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has won numerous awards, including a 1999 Academy Award for her role as Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare In Love.
In 2014, media reports indicated that Paltrow was raising her two children as Jewish. Copldplay front man Chris Martin is their father.
Paltrow is currently married to American television writer, director, and producer Brad Falchuk, who is Jewish. Falchuk is best known as one of the co-creators of “Glee.”
Prior to World War II, Jews lived in Poland for 800 years. Some 3.3 million Jews were living in Poland when Germany invaded in 1939 — of whom three million were murdered by the Nazis.